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Wealth Virtues Journal: May 2, 2011

America’s New High

Filed under: Virtues in Practice — Tags: , , , , — James Ward @ 10:08 am
© 2009 Poor Richard Web Press, LLC

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Those of us who have worked in the military and intelligence communities understand that accomplishment is based on understanding the situation, our mission, careful execution, communications, and logistics. Timing is relevant only where it is critical to the mission. It is, however, astounding that the terrorist most responsible for the attack on “911” was killed by Navy Special Operations Forces on “May Day.” Coincidence, but who cares. I feel good. President Obama should, and does, feel good. All Americans should feel good about the events of May 1, 2011. Less important, investors (including those who contribute to IRAs or a 401K)  may (or may not) see their stock portfolios rise today as the traders on Wall Street feel vindicated about the death of Osama bin Laden, however, the economy is really the driving factor in the case of market performance.

One of the best decisions President Obama made when taking office was to maintain continuity within the Defense Community by keeping President Bush appointed Secretary of Defense (and former Director of the CIA) Robert Gates on as the SECDEF. This war on terror, as President Bush started shortly after the attack on September 11, 2001, will take a long time. The killing of bin Laden with the world’s best military fighting force took years of intelligence and military planning. I am also an admirer of Secretary Gates due to his pragmatism on unnecessary defense spending.

One of his best decisions was to take a look at useless expenditures, and terminate them regardless of the political pushback by those even in his own Republican Party. The closing of the Joint Forces Command, an otherwise useless command that does not provide any direct warfighting capability was cheered by many including me. I also think the decision to eliminate duplicative and unnecessary “alternative” engines for the Joint Strike Fighter was also a brilliant decision for the taxpayer that will probably enhance our military capabilities for the next twenty years.

There is also another “high” for America; yesterday, the national debt increased another four billion dollars. That’s $4,000,000,000. Actually, it was a bit more, but I rounded down for editing purposes. You can see below that the national debt ticker is still going up, right now sitting at over 14 Trillion dollars.

The Gross National Debt:

When I wrote Wealth Virtues in 2010, we were only at 12 Trillion. The book was written for individuals to help rid themselves of debt, and actually grow their retirement savings. In it, I provided a military-style “operations order” to help individuals with planning the attack on their debt and lack of savings. It is that planning, backed by Wisdom and Intelligence (see my Cycle of Positive Wealth) that will allow you to win the long term struggle over debt.

It is my hope that the President and Congress use the same military methods used to eliminate our number one military threat to eliminate our number one financial threat – the national debt. Like the War on Terror (sorry Mr. President – it still exists regardless of your sterile “overseas contingency operations” whitewash), long term thinking is required, but immediate action must be taken now. If we fail to act, then we may not be able to afford the greatest military force in history, providing a less secure future. Al Qaeda, like our national debt is long from being gone.

I will not end on a down note. President Obama DID make the right decisions to allow long term intelligence and military planning and operations culminate in a significant victory over terrorism. It is to him, and more significantly those in the defense and intelligence community who’s efforts of the last ten years provided America with a moment of closure, and a sense that we have turned the corner on our war on terrorism. We now need to take that vision and spirit and apply to the common domestic threat – our own overspending.

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